Global and domestic markets, driving demand, milk quality, investing in technology and connecting with consumers and fellow dairymen, were among the many issues discussed at the 2017 Georgia Dairy Conference this week in Savannah.

Over 400 Southeastern dairy farmers and agribusiness representatives attending the 2017 Georgia Dairy Conference (GDC) left the three-day conference with new insights on a variety of dairy issues and management topics.   To download a copy of slides from our 2017 GDC speakers, click here .

Georgia Milk Producers would like to thank the many exhibitors and sponsors that participated in the conference. Your support made this year's conference a huge success.  Click here to view our list of exhibitor and sponsors.

In addition to our quality line-up of educational speakers, GDC hosted  the 3rd Annual Southeast Dairy Science Student Symposium on Monday, Jan. 16. 
Forty- three students from Berry College, North Carolina State University, University of Georgia, 

University of Florida, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Virginia Tech attended the event,designed to provide students interested in the dairy industry with a platform to explore careers and internship opportunities in the Southeast.  Students also connected with dairymen and industry affiliates to build networking opportunities and future business relationships. 

Click here to visit our GDC Facebook page and view a gallery of photos from the conference.  More coverage on the Georgia Dairy Conference will be included in next's week Enews! 
GMP Supports Perdue as Agriculture Secretary for USDA

Georgia Milk Producers congratulates Former Gov. Sonny Perdue on his nomination to serve as Agriculture Secretary for USDA. Gov. Perdue, who has a strong background in Agriculture, was raised on a small dairy farm in Central Georgia. Perdue is a veterinarian, businessman and known for pursuing several international trade agreements as Governor.

We are excited to see what's in store for Agriculture under the Trump Administration and look to forward to collaborating with Secretary Perdue on ways to strengthen USDA programs for dairy farmers, discuss immigration reform, ease regulatory burdens and enhance opportunities for our dairy export markets.
Sonny Perdue will be the U.S. secretary of agriculture
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman, New York Times 

President-elect Donald J. Trump  on Wednesdays elected Sonny Perdue, the former governor of Georgia, to be his secretary of agriculture, two senior transition officials said, making his final cabinet selection two days before he is to be sworn in as president.

Mr. Perdue, a onetime veterinarian who was elected in 2003 as Georgia's first Republican governor since Reconstruction, campaigned heavily for Mr. Trump in the final months of the presidential race, although he had initially backed a rival, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.  Read more
Viral video: Hillcrest Farms posts video on why they support Perdue for AG Secretary

Mark Rodgers of Hillcrest Farms steps in front of camera to speak on the nomination of Gov. Perdue for USDA AG Secretary. 

Proposed Law Could Prevent Non-Dairy Producers From Calling Products 'Milk'
By Hope Kirwan,

New federal legislation could prevent non-dairy products from using words like "milk," "yogurt" or "cheese."

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin said using terms like "milk" to describe plant-based foods is actually mislabeling under the current definition of the product from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

On Thursday, Baldwin  introduced a bill that would require the FDA to enforce current standards and prevent plant-based products from using dairy terms.

"Imitation products have gotten away with using dairy's good name for their own benefit," Baldwin said in a written statement.   Read more
Vitamin D does more than help bones stay strong, and most kids don't get enough  
It is officially winter in our household because I have pulled out the vitamin D supplements. My daughter was too young last winter to remember that she added a vitamin to her morning routine, but my boys knew what it signaled.

Instead of gobbling down the vitamins without query as they did last winter, my boys fired questions my way as to why they had to take them. I guess this is what teenagers do: They question their parents about everything, even the things they have taken for granted for more than a decade.

I'm okay with their questions. I certainly don't want them blindly taking vitamins or pills under any other circumstances, even if prescribed by a doctor. Asking questions is good. Demanding explanations is good. Understanding dosages is good.

Vilsack to take helm of U.S. Dairy Export Council  
By Joanna Hunter, DMI 
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) today announced that former U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will join the organization as president and CEO, effective  Feb. 1, 2017. USDEC is a non-profit, independent organization that seeks to enhance the global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients.  Read more
Blue Diamond Reaches Settlement Over Almond Breeze Milk 
A class action lawsuit against Blue Diamond has reached a $9 million dollar settlement for advertising its Almond Breeze and other products as being "all natural" or "natural". The lawsuit is also challenging how many almonds are used to make Almond Breeze since the product is advertised as being made from almonds but only a small portion, roughly 2 percent, of the ingredients are actually nuts.

Although Blue Diamond has admitted to no wrongdoing, the company has agreed to change the current advertising and packaging. Anyone who purchased Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and/or Blue Diamond Nut-Thins products from May 28, 2009 to Nov. 18, 2016 may be reimbursed as a portion of the settlement is being set aside for this purpose.
Thousands of Skittles end up on an icy road. But that's not the surprising part
By Doug Criss, CNN
This story starts out about Skittles but ends up being about cows.

A rural county in southeast Wisconsin had a sweet, sticky mystery along a highway earlier this week. Hundreds of thousands of red Skittles were found spilled on a road in Dodge County.
"There's no little 'S' on them, but you can definitely smell, it's a distinct Skittles smell," Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt told CNN affiliate WISN.

No one knew where the candy came from or where it was going, but county road crews said the Skittles spill was actually helpful, as the roads in the area have been icy the past couple of days and the thousands of little candies improved traction.
So that's one unexpected silver lining from that mishap.

But the story gets better.

The sheriff's department later found out that the Skittles fell off a truck that was hauling the red candies to be used as cattle feed.  Read More
Mark Your Calendars:
Jan. 18: GA Ag Forecast Mtg: Macon (GA Farm Bureau Building)
Jan. 19: 
GA Ag Forecast Mtg: 
Marietta (Cobb County Civic Center)
Jan. 20: 
GA Ag Forecast Mtg: 
Carrollton (Carroll County Ag Center)
Jan. 23: 
GA Ag Forecast Mtg: 
Tifton (UGA Tifton Campus)
Jan. 24: 
GA Ag Forecast Mtg: 
Bainbridge (Decatur County Ag Center)
Jan. 25: 
GA Ag Forecast Mtg: 
 Lyons (Toombs County Ag Center)
Jan. 26: 
GA Ag Forecast Mtg: 
Waynesboro (Burke County Office Park)
Jan. 27: 
GA Ag Forecast Mtg: 
Athens (Georgia Center for Continuing Ed.)
GA Dairy Classifieds

FOR SALE:  (1) Registered Holstein bull 12 months old.  (1) Registered Brown Swiss bull from Franks Farm, 14 months old. (1) Cross Breed Bull from WDairy.  Call Randall Ruff at 706-498-4344 for more information.

Bullcalves Wanted : Looking for Bullcalves to purchase - Barron Tench 864-844-2295 or     
GA Milk Producers|706.310.0020

For 2016, Georgia Milk Producers, Inc. has once AGAIN been named an All Star Award winner by 
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